Vol.17, No.2, 2020, pp.93-99, doi: 10.32604/mcb.2019.08267
New Applications for Cryotherapy
  • Rafi Mazor1,*, Meital Mazor2, Ali E. Dabiri2,3, Bhavesh Patel2, Ghassan S. Kassab2
1 University of California in San Diego, La Jolla, CA, USA.
2 California Medical Innovation Institute, San Diego, CA, USA.
3 3DTholdings, San Diego, CA, 92121, USA.
* Corresponding Author: Rafi Mazor. Email: rmazor@ucsd.edu.
Cryotherapy, or more commonly known as cold therapy, is the use of low temperatures in medical treatment. The most prominent use of cryotherapy is for cryosurgery where application of very low temperatures is used to ablate diseased tissue (e.g., most commonly in dermatology). Recent research, however, shows that low temperature may modulate collagen fibers beyond the already known effects of extreme cooling on joint pain relieve and inflammation. The goal of this brief review is to outline the known effects of extreme cooling on molecular, fiber and cell physiology and to leverage these properties in various potential medical applications. Specially, we will discuss potential cryotherapies for treatment of osteoarthritis and destruction of fat cells (i.e., cryolipolysis) for treatment of diabetes. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a degenerative disease, where joint pain and stiffness worsen over time. One of the most effective ways to relief joint pain is cooling the joint. Indeed, when evaluating different strategies to externally cool affected joints, it was found that reducing the internal joint temperature by ~ 10°C has beneficial effects in terms of pain reduction and regression in local inflammation. Moreover, collagen, whose deterioration is a major part of OA pathophysiology, regains elasticity after several freeze-thaw cycle. Finally, cartilage cells response to cold by increasing collagen formation and reducing matrix enzyme production, and adipose tissue within the joint that promote OA by supporting inflammation is susceptible to cold temperatures. Obesity is also a devastating disease that contributes to OA. Reduction of the temperature within the joint results in reduced inflammation, renewed collagen synthesis and reduced pain. Similarly, induction of extreme low temperatures in adipose tissue results in adipocytes loss without damage to surrounding tissues. Hence, cryotherapy has applications to modulation of collagen and fat cells for various therapies.
Cryotherapy; osteoarthritis; arthritis; pain management
Cite This Article
Mazor, R., Mazor, M., Dabiri, A. E., Patel, B., Kassab, G. S. (2020). New Applications for Cryotherapy. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 17(2), 93–99.
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